Wealth & Justice
The Morality of Democratic Capitalism

  • Title:

    Wealth & Justice
  • Format:

    Paperback
  • Paperback Price:

    9.95
  • Paperback ISBN:

    978-0-8447-4377-6
  • 100 Paperback pages
  • Buy the Book

In "Wealth & Justice: The Morality of Democratic Capitalism," Arthur C. Brooks and Peter Wehner explore how America's system of democratic capitalism both depends upon and cultivates an intricate social web of families, churches, and communities. Far from oppressing and depriving individuals, the free market system uniquely enables Americans to exercise vocation and experience the dignity of self-sufficiency, all while contributing to the common good. The fruits of this system include the alleviation of poverty, better health, and greater access to education than at any other time in human history--but also a more significant prosperity: the flourishing of the human soul. "Wealth & Justice" is a primer in the Values & Capitalism series intended for college students.

 

 

 

 

Chapters in "Wealth & Justice"

1. Human Nature and Capitalism
2. The Economic Achievements of Capitalism
3. Capitalism, Ethics, and Religious Faith
4. Is Capitalism Unjust?

 

Introduction to "Wealth & Justice"

"Morality and capitalism, like morality and democracy, are intimately connected and mutually complementary. They reinforce one another; they need one another; and they are terribly diminished without one another."-Arthur Brooks and Peter Wehner

A free market can better our moral condition—not dramatically and not always, but often enough. It places a premium on thrift, savings, and investment. And capitalism, when functioning properly, penalizes certain kinds of behavior—bribery, corruption, and lawlessness among them—because citizens in a free-market society have a huge stake in discouraging such behavior, which is a poison-tipped dagger aimed straight at the heart of prosperity.

In addition, capitalism can act as a civilizing agent. The social critic Irving Kristol argued, correctly, in our view, that the early architects of democratic capitalism believed commercial transactions “would themselves constantly refine and enlarge the individual’s sense of his own self-interest, so that in the end the kind of commercial society that was envisaged would be a relatively decent community.”

But capitalism, like American democracy itself, is hardly perfect or sufficient by itself. It has a troubling history as well as a glorious one. And like America, it is an ongoing, never-ending experiment, neither self-sustaining nor self-executing. Capitalism requires strong, vital, non-economic and non-political institutions—including the family, churches and other places of worship, civic associations, and schools—to complement it. Such institutions are necessary to allow capitalism to advance human progress.

A capitalist society needs to produce an educated citizenry. It needs to be buttressed by people who possess and who teach others virtues such as sympathy, altruism, compassion, self-discipline, perseverance, and honesty. And it needs a polity that will abide by laws, contracts, and election results (regardless of their outcome). Without these virtues, capitalism can be eaten from within by venality and used for pernicious ends.

We need to understand that capitalism, like democracy, is part of an intricate social web. Capitalism both depends on it and contributes mightily to it. Morality and capitalism, like morality and democracy, are intimately connected and mutually complementary. They reinforce one another; they need one another; and they are terribly diminished without one another. They are links in a golden chain.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Arthur C.
Brooks
  • Arthur C. Brooks is president of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). He is also the Beth and Ravenel Curry Scholar in Free Enterprise at AEI.

    Immediately before joining AEI, Brooks was the Louis A. Bantle Professor of Business and Government at Syracuse University, where he taught economics and social entrepreneurship.

    Brooks is the author of 10 books and hundreds of articles on topics including the role of government, fairness, economic opportunity, happiness, and the morality of free enterprise. His latest book, “The Road to Freedom: How to Win the Fight for Free Enterprise” (2012) was a New York Times bestseller. Among his earlier books are “Gross National Happiness” (2008), “Social Entrepreneurship” (2008), and “Who Really Cares” (2006). Before pursuing his work in public policy, Brooks spent 12 years as a classical musician in the United States and Spain.

    Brooks is a frequent guest on national television and radio talk shows and has been published widely in publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

    Brooks has a Ph.D. and an M.Phil. in policy analysis from RAND Graduate School. He also holds an M.A. in economics from Florida Atlantic University and a B.A. in economics from Thomas Edison State College.


    Follow Arthur Brooks on Twitter.

  • Assistant Info

    Name: Danielle Duncan
    Phone: 202.419.5213
    Email: danielle.duncan@aei.org

What's new on AEI

image Recovering from tax time blues
image 10 welfare reform lessons
image Let HHS nominee Sylvia Burwell explain Obamacare lie
image Why bold ideas backfire in politics
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 14
    MON
  • 15
    TUE
  • 16
    WED
  • 17
    THU
  • 18
    FRI
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Calling treason by its name: A conversation with Liam Fox

Join us at AEI as the Right Honorable Liam Fox sits down with Marc Thiessen to discuss and debate whether America’s intelligence agencies have infringed on the personal privacy of US citizens.

Event Registration is Closed
Thursday, April 17, 2014 | 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
The curmudgeon's guide to getting ahead

How can young people succeed in workplaces dominated by curmudgeons who are judging their every move? At this AEI book event, bestselling author and social scientist Charles Murray will offer indispensable advice for navigating the workplace, getting ahead, and living a fulfilling life.

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.